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History of La Fayette County, Wisconsin   1881

Town of Darlington

Early Settlement & General History  //   Avon Village (extinct)  //  Poor House

Page 547

Town of Darlington

The territory constituting this town, as at first set off in 1849, included the east half of Township 2, Range 2, and fifty-six sections in Townships 2 and 3, of Ranges 3 and 4; ten sections on the north being the south part of Township 3, and the remainder being the north part Township 2.  Previous to that time, a large portion of the above territory was connected with the precinct of Willow Springs for the purposes of voting.  In 1850, two tiers of sections were set off from the east end of the town, and added to the town of Wioto, and, in 1869, when the town of Seymour was formed, the east half of Township 2, Range 3, was assigned to that territory.  This town was then left, as it now appears, nearly square, and including in all nearly forty-eight sections.  The town was first called Center, Which name it received on account of its occupying the geographical center of the county, and which it retained until it was changed to darlington.  The first town meeting was held at the house of Alvy Bowles, April 3, 1849, when the following officers, among others, were elected:  H. W. Barnes, Chairman; T. J. Hamilton and Samuel George, Supervisors; G. B. Spencer, clerk; Horace Beebe, Treasurer, and Willard Martin, Assessor.  There were eight-two votes polled at this election.

The surface of Darlington is greatly but not unpleasantly diversified.  In the southwest part is found a large tract of beautifully rolling prairie, which, in the north and northeast parts, is lost amid hills and hollows; that portion lying between the east and West pecatonicas being rougher than any other section.

The soil of the bottom lands and prairies is generally a rich black loam with a clay subsoil, while that on the hills is a whitish or yellow clay.  It is regarded as being very fertile throughout; even on the land that is too rough to be tilled, grass of good quality may be raised, either for grazing purposes or to cut for winter fodder.

Of water for milling or agricultural purposes, there is no lack, nature having lavishly supplied that want in the West Pecatonica, which runs through the town, and various small streams and springs that irrigate the land in all directions.

The natural timber, with the exception of clumps scattered here and there, is found on the high and rough land in the northwest part.  It consists principally of varieties of oak, poplar, and basswood, with a slight sprinkling of walnut, ash and maple, and is in some parts very good.

The population of the town now embraces representatives of nearly every nationality known to Western civilization, these being for the most part scattered promiscuously over the town, and all living in apparent harmony, "Like children of one family and one fatherland."

They are thrify, enterprising, moral and advanced in religious and educational matters.  There are four churches and five religious societies located in Darlington, and numerous schools, which receive a liberal and highly creditable support.

The chief product of the town at the present time appears to be stock, this being one of the best stock-raising districts in the State.  several of the farmers are engaged in rearing blooded sheep and cattle, and some of the finest breeding horses in Wisconsin are located at darlington.  An english thoroughbred, and one english and one Scotch draft horse, owned by a stock company, and managed by d. B. dipple, are especially worthy of mention, as also a Cleveland bay and two Norman draft horses of unusual perfection, owned by D. C. Prichard.

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Page 548

Early Settlement & General History

The very first settler or claimant in what is now Darlington was, in all probability, a man by the name of George Ames.  It is impossible to say just when this man pitched his tent here, but certainly before 1826, and it is thought by some of those who yet remain, that were here in 1827, that he arrived as early as 1820.  If the latter be the case, he undoubtedly came into the county and took up his residence before any other white person known to history.  His dwelling was a dug-out or cave in a side hill, covered with logs and brush, on the section now owned by Mr. Rae.  Ames' housekeeper was the wife of another man, whom he had induced to come out to the frontier with him, and was, without doubt, the first white woman who came here.  After they had been in this section a few years, the woman's husband came after her, but, finding her very much attached to Ames, he gave her up, and Ames married her.  During the Black Hawk war, Ames was enumerated with the missing.  By some, he is said to have been killed and buried in the town, but it seems to be only hearsay, and not entitled to credence.  He made no improvements of value, being a hunter and miner, and is only entitled to consideration as the first comer.  The small stream called Ames Branch was named for him.  another man of the same stripe, one Lavett, came here nearly as soon, and squatted in the eastern part of the town.  He did not remain here many years, being a bird of passage; but he, like his predecessor, attached his name to a little stream, to be borne down to posterity on its rippling current.  What became of Lavett no one knows.

The first noted person who located here was D. M. Parkinson, who made a claim on what is now called the Magoon Farm, on section 20, about one mile below the present village of Calamine, and, in 1827, he built a cabin sixteen feet square with puncheon-floor, shake-roof, open fire-place and clay chimney, the same year.  This was the prevailing style of dwelling then, such as anyone could erect with ax, saw and auger for tools, and which was usually furnished with a puncheon, cross-legged tabl<8<'\Y`y7AcUM^ nm V!Xݥ[WbVbyUgaHm1^)Y=6m~-J5%'v`+H2y>ޠZe9Y˰s\}PNI< ig%Y9\B,/oCUk$Jɘ"F6yFGB{t5=wJrkAxBϱn'Ed v_3A88V)4TibOUeҝMm(+ Q $\9#L`C%ъ0>r&-0e4sK~?חԤ$'7nI9E 8 7ga⵼euk{@%esoEY9Sn6{h*xV1I)oa=r۬gtvPXcÃ#89+C/gݭ<ݺ|ܯw}x-ȐIZ<f`BtXG3#bgz1b$ftۗewUڋsaO&Nմ$jl27'vzSi5E=o#0Kȩh."%Q1Rw gBKcItZ]Iiqǽ2,s 'ӏRz]=?BUXglh,q!BFP6vP!0>-̶/9v@$H8@H=VQ\,I@ͅ>Bc?x;w'[y4wBG\eVuݖMmTQ!sӜt6pN7׻k]KwKViv9fJ7Fy GkY+r2w( $M1g2H[8hF-0xfOL/&80is0{g8Of WUF+gy%:Zk/↓"I.\6dV f-p@_3f,ٹ<$Y ,Oǩ,[xL%<%%gxt]048#9I aֺmr&J޼ޞIQԓL,T#O?Lp;A N)I0~43۞'k3ޕlFdl/Oqҫv9OcAK\"hFTI849c[Ɓ x<8 Ґg ~oĚJ9BdҮG1@9ލF&1sX c;ᘡ׭2IT4Ű89s^@&rܜz`S$$=M$r9HB0:~O7C׆cHk`pz*|L2_uAW%b iT1)^SD ԀS v9<=\xwTQ'\dL.G8U#mĂG։EI4z5F͠k^Dm(Tgy95b%SCN9=2@+Ǿx隑ӦoB[\!^nl=!>g8<f_aV:prL oZ5Ӊf . 3#įLeRyK7s"%6eArpwbqm*3e? _9;Ac՝<{```)iH ǚ*rmZ=/&Yk(,b@,r~jM<>Ա!;'<=/ OIU`yw~豐@@$u2fP7[1|!F6@I?0,A꿯^~_s#yn<؂I9i8[$9jѸ ݞ,}2SJ)L%/c{5'd2:ӡ-k2k>\8D8F $,F:3K+$$qnvœ1d`O~M?ɍ!HA oQpinRtn9ͬ0D$ +%% 0"ؤ$ HHPj3۬Q=0;L0O([TǥGxfq=6QH~='֥ F$3FDrpOI3+$rR}?i$1~y8_2Rb0U1_88KwӜ5)ԤT/$>\ge{Y'imq'#39pfm How[޾MeGjcL+ P~ /@qsLycX ?YC6~Pya9d&0y`ʲ 9lA,jixO&ݚh!,e1cܜ~lvZ1VbH;nhQv jlzlhNP:T02yrTH+ԂÊY&O?~1ad_hXH];I۸V)'ijBFpE%=?/M F8@Nr)9@8ۗ6S^m nJ9'9aL)`ښ F#s[ #:O$o. ?b5aҳ螻k_ rVn|%-"{HfxYnĒ  Ia%~S$p6FC(䝘!~_yP&>9lQl^s猎)?֐h9<{fbyV"s$2O`)~O\c 8cϵbz( P1$Nz1@Q`t' {b{nQB1٤(rzI?i}٤)$^ߕq>6Kq(a 2i:0V' iĩ: q)N2>EQ0N=:RIqZh㝽)N2r{)9#L+dx@b9c-i%Kr$4ޖ6o-61l6O'vB 鸜Gҽem"y [*2_)9$Ӧ $ 'eOː3d9Y90l՞GeIw_2K(=ph_zRI_?+ZI橄%ϛK'嘜9lŨȒq fi~`_RI89]|6Z1H%|I. |QSPO?vڤu E_ם?_=KQ)K / dPE*Fa#K;~\1;s%sKkx,hn#>Ovn9 㻓1'U,c,bY xa ca<ㆢދ46s}o52 SnY%1'#<~gϧ"zżVD."$*Iݎ3zc CþQ w9#9N܊M&rlq0Lc } .]ZVϙxeyv[nJriy.{}N K OYy1~ڳӢb s*##ґI9TP3X?:xA;PIۚ`t##'R F}i2z`P'UF1}zS*ڸ=vUхfڊVidbY$NOz*hFvln#p^z?Ɗ+EK3gIĘt#=袏$G\]Yϒ" #n@;s}袹1i:p ޗ+=.٢/bbN@gyI 1B%OLW+@S#g&y}u.j-bB܆=zQPһ6)(BXf'1N{dHjfYюs!y9Eeoss:EI üE ,n:tڊ(iXBw@u3@sӵhm:>H3aI'$Q(u}Sh 6olmPBe܁s O9dv$[Kg823x%̊~?smwB>9$;V7.-@Kb^@s4Q]8t<\sN.?M,Yd,/_qbUU[hҗ~JSMW=JQ8EhA=)I(n>\8ފ(OP4[^ (V8WQH]GPSNk8'tY$@uiU8M HXO3ERFӞ\(<Єz (HNFxEu*Xg?;h>) 8OOsEQT$